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Pluralistic Counselling & Psychotherapy

Developed in conjunction with Visiting Professor John McLeod, this programme aims to enable existing professionals working within the field of counselling and psychotherapy to achieve a Master of Arts in Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy.

A pluralistic perspective is an integrative approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy that embraces and considers multiple causes and responses to psychological distress. The aim of the programme is to equip practitioners with an up-to-date, cutting edge training to meet the needs of contemporary society. It also aims to identify and develop leadership and collaborative qualities in those involved in therapeutic practice. With a strong research focus, graduates from this programme will have the necessary knowledge, skills and competence to act as research-practitioners.

The programme aims to enable graduates to analyse their own practice and the profession as a whole. We strive to facilitate learners in the creation of evidence-based solutions to the current problems they face as individual practitioners and dilemmas that exist within the profession. As pluralism is the unifying theme in the programme, the programme will foster a spirit of enquiry where learners will engage in the pursuit of multiple truths, drawing from diverse disciples, approaches and orientations.

Who Should Apply

This two year programme will be of interest to practising therapists who wish to extend their existing qualification in counselling and psychotherapy to Master's level.


This part-time programme consists of ten modules over two years. It is a taught Master's with a strong research component. The programme utilises a continuous assessment strategy and learners accumulate credits though a variety of assessments over the duration of the programme. The programme is facilitated through monthly three/four day blocks (usually Thursday/Friday – Sunday).

Student Benefits & Support
We hold that it is not enough to simply teach the skills of counselling and psychotherapy. Learners are given the space to learn, practice and be supported as they develop for themselves a style and model of counselling which is both personal and effective.

Entry requirements

Entry Routes
•An honours degree, Level 8 on The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), in counselling and psychotherapy or equivalent and evidence of completion of 50 hours of personal therapy and 100 hours of supervised clinical practice.


•An honours degree, Level 8 on the NFQ, plus a professional diploma in counselling and psychotherapy that meets with IACP /IAHIP course recognition standards. The diploma, or equivalent must have counselling and psychotherapy at its core and have a minimum of 450 hours in tutor/student contact over the duration of the programme.

Learners will be invited to an interview with faculty as part of the application process.


2 years part-time

Number of credits

Credits 90 ECTS

Further enquiries

For Course Queries:
Triona Kearns: 086 049 9154
Marcella Finnerty: 086 260 9989

Subjects taught

Programme Structure

The programme contains ten mandatory modules over the duration of two academic years

First Year Modules

Advanced Research Methods 1
•This module is designed to provide the learner with a solid theoretical foundation in Research Methods. Learners will become familiar with reading and critiquing research papers.

Philosophical Underpinnings of Counselling and Psychotherapy
•This module will encourage learners to explore, in depth, the conceptual and philosophical foundations of counselling and psychotherapy. Learners will be encouraged to develop a questioning mind, reflecting on a number of key theories from a philosophical perspective.

A Pluralistic Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy
•This module aims to explore the assumptions underlying a pluralistic approach to therapy. Learners will gain proficiency in this approach and practice it in a coherent and meaningful way. A detailed examination of three therapeutic domains –goals, tasks and methods – will take place. Furthermore, practical skills such as assessment and case formulation will form part of the learning in this class.

Professional Knowledge
•The purpose of the module is to encourage learners to engage in engage in discussion-based learning which highlights elements of dialogue, critical discovery and community based scholarly activity to probe specialist areas of psychotherapy theory, research and practice.

Contemporary Perspectives on Counselling and Psychotherapy
•This module explores current research findings on contemporary issues and approaches in the field of Counselling and Psychotherapy, including the role of trauma, neuroscience and the therapeutic use of mindfulness. Adhering to a pluralistic stance, the module will offer learners knowledge, skills and competence drawn from a range of novel areas of theory and practice.

The Sociological Context of Mental Health
•This module aims to enable learners to evaluate and reflect on the value of therapeutic interventions within a social context. This module will include the key contemporary debates within the sociology of mental health and mental illness. The sociological study of mental health is unique in that it seeks to document and describe the social conditions that influence psychological functioning, as well as the psychosocial process that link social experiences to psychological health.

Advanced Research Methods 2
•This Module is designed to provide the learner with the knowledge, skills and competence to enable them to carry out basic research investigations. Learners will begin the process of applying advanced research skills.

Second Year Modules

Practice Based Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy
•The aim of this module is to facilitate learners in addressing the real issues that present in pluralistic client work. Upon completion of this module, learners will have begun the process of applying evidence-based strategies to practice-based problems such as poor outcomes, non-attendance, therapy drop-out etc. Leadership skills and management strategies also form part of the curriculum of this module.

Clinical Practice and Development
•The module will take place in IICP Education and Training Ltd and will focus on the application of pluralism to clinical work. Case study work and supervision will form an integral part of this module. A number of lecture halls will be made available for this module. Learners will also engage in self-directed and peer-supported learning as part of this module.

Research Portfolio
•The Research Portfolio module at IICP takes a different format that the standard dissertation. The ethos of the Master's programme is evidenced in this module by the inclusion of 4 separate assignments that form the Final Capstone Module. Learners will undertake a literature review paper, a research paper, a reflexive paper and will disseminate their research in presentation format at an internal conference.


Validation & Accreditation of Award
This master's is a major award validated by QQI at Level 9 on the NFQ.

Assessment method

Learners are assessed through a continuous assessment strategy, which includes a variety of mediums such as individual and group projects, skills training assessments, case studies and process recordings, written assignments, essays and a dissertation.

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